'This volume ventures into terrain where even the most sophisticated maps fail to lead—through the mapmaker’s bias. Denis Wood shows how maps are not impartial reference objects, but rather instruments of communication, persuasion, and power. Like paintings, they press a point of view. By connecting us to a reality that could not exist in their absence—a world of property lines and voting rights, taxation districts and enterprise zones—maps embody and project the interests of their creators. Sampling the scope of maps available today, illustrations Peter Gould’s AIDS map, Tom Van Sant’s map of the earth, U.S. Geological Survey maps, and a child’s drawing of the world.’ (back cover)
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Denis WOOD


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Chapter headings
Maps Work by Serving Interests
A Reality Beyond Our Reach
Maps Make the Past and Future Present
Maps Link the Territory with What Comes with It
Maps Enable Our Living
One Map Use - Many Ways of Living
Maps Construct - Not Reproduce - the World
Every Map Has an Author, a Subject, a Theme
Suspended Between Faith and Doubt
Maps Are Embedded in a History They Help Construct
Growth, Development, History
Maps Themselves Don't Grow (or Develop)
But Mapping and Mapmaking Do
To Live Map-Immersed in the World
Some Societies Are Bigger Than Others
Some Societies Are More Developed
Our Histories - Entwined - Are Different
Every Map Shoes This...But Not That
The Dividing Up of the Reality
The Code Between the Object and its Image
The Mathematical Transformation of the Object
'Night and Day, You Are the One'
'Blue Skies, Shining on Me'
'All Summer Long'
What Is the Map for?
The Interest the Map Serves is Masked
The Naturalization of the Cultural
The Culturalization of the Natural
The Wanaque Topographic Quadrangle
...Shows Only Selected Features
The Wanaque Quadrangle Only Shows 'Permanent' Features
The Wanaque Quadrangle Only Shows Cheap Features
Cheap Maps Are Silent
Legible Features on the Wanaque Quadrangle
What Are We Looking for in New Jersey?
We're Looking for Iron
Suddenly the Map Looks Different
The Interest Is Embodied in the Map in Signs and Myths
Ten Cartographic Codes
Ironic Codes
Linguistic Codes
Tectonic Codes
Temporal Codes
Presentational Codes
Sign Functions
Elemental Signs
Sign Systems
Each Sign Has a History
A Brief History of the Hillsign
Hillsigning Among Contemporary Americans
The Sequence in Which Kids Acquire Hillsigns Parallels That in Which They Were Acquired in Our History of Mapmaking
The Mastery of Hillsigning in Contemporary Kids
The Hillsigning of the Contemporary Child in Context
The Development of Hillsigns
Hillsigns of the Future
The Interest the Map Serves Can Be Yours
Anybody Can Make a Map
Maps Are Moments in the Process of Decision-Making
Maps Are Heavy Responsibilities
Maps Empower...By Working
The Power of Maps
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The Power of Maps